A Brush With Death


Losing friends and family members to the disease of addiction has taught me that this disease is serious. Escaping life and getting fucked up can be really fun and some times humorous, but those of us that have suffered the reality of loss know the final destination is not funny.

We can sit in meetings and laugh at all the stupid things we have done, but when we actually lose a loved one to this disease and they die, it gets really real. Most of us either are or know a person who is an addict. If that person never has the desire to change, then the possibility of death, insanity or imprisonment are supremely real.

When we “get it, the desire to change burns in our hearts like a tattoo made with a branding iron.

It is the only passion that can save us. Without it we stay in our sick situations: Drinking, snorting, shooting up. eating, smoking, cheating or turning a blind eye to all of the latter keeps us from attaining our true path.

To be a better more effective person is not always a desire in a person’s life. Sometimes mediocre getting by and accepting an unfinished life is all we will ever aspire to.

Our Higher Power can create miracles, but can our Higher Power give us desire?

Do we stay in the wake of a short trip to death or in a long slow eroded life and never have the desire to change?

I was given grace. I was given a burning desire to change my life and I have accepted all the circumstances of the change. I was 35 years old and maybe I had more drunks in me, but I was given the choice and I was ready that day. I took the hand of life and I made a choice to live.

I am forever grateful for that gift of desperation.

I have walked through some pretty stupid situations sober. It is not always easy to stumble around sober completely aware of being like a child learning to walk. This can be awkward when you’re a grown person.

But in the effort to grow there have been times I see how being sober can help others. We have talked a fellow addict off a ledge, poured the liquor down the sink, dragged their asses to a meeting, sat up into the wee hours with them, spent hours on the phone, using our gifts to create another and another reprieve from a brush with death.

Drama you say? Funny? This fucking disease kills.

But,

I choose sobriety today one day at a time…

and I am forever grateful.


PARTY SOBER


Party Sober

From Anonymous Sober Driver Contributor

Last year I went to my first sober party ever, the week before Christmas.  It was really special, because I was doing chemotherapy at the time and I had no hair, no eyebrows, and no eyelashes.  I was in a brace because of an operation I had to remove a tumor.

My sober friends scooped me up and put me in the car and then took me to a meeting and asked if I wanted to go to a sober party.  Some people from meetings didn’t recognize me.

But nobody was phased.  They were all happy to see me and glad I was sober.

I love sobriety.

I went back to the same party tonight.  It was great to say “here I am” – “I’m still here, and here’s my hair”.

I’ve heard people say, “God did for me what I couldn’t do for myself.”

I’ve also heard some people say when they first got sober they didn’t know whether to brush their teeth or load the dishwasher.

At 14 months sober, I remember sitting on my couch in my living room next to my sponsor and deciding which oncologist to go to.  Just yesterday I thought about that and I got real still because I for the first time I realized the magnitude of what God doing for us what we can’t do for ourselves is.

I Walk Alone

I kept thinking, “it would be great to go to a movie, or a play, or the arboretum, or something fun.

Ho-hum

Bah-hum-bug.”

Well, here’s my new thing I’m doing – when I think, “I’d like to do this or do that.”  Then I promise myself I’m going to go, EVEN IF I HAVE TO GO ALONE.  I order the tickets online, or make dinner reservations.  Then I text five friends in recovery and ask if anyone would want to join me.  But I go no matter what.

NO MATTER WHAT

The worst thing that can happen is I go see a movie by myself then have five sober friends calling me back over the next 24-48 hours.

If I end up going alone, I get in the car, jam my music and go.  And I have to say doing something fun alone is one of the most empowering experiences ever!

The Best Christmas Present Ever

Calls, texts, emails, and letters from sponsees are the best Christmas present I’ve ever received next to the Lone Star Rodeo Barbie my Grandmother gave me when I was 7.

It got really dark for me the other day and I was thinking, “I just don’t think I can do this much longer.  What’s the use?  Are things really better?”.  I keep praying for a Power Greater than me to send me a letter in the mail.  Something that would fix the pain.

I stepped outside and had a postcard from a person, we’ll just call them the magic sponsee.

It had a list of four things the magic sponsee is praying for in my life.  We’ve been together so long, the magic sponsee knows what my four dreams are.

Thanks, HIgher Power!

Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Oh Boy!  The HOLIDAYS are here!  What will they be like this year?

Merry Christmas!

Happy HanukkaH!

Happy Kwanzaa!

Happy New Year!

This is the first day of the rest of your life and it’s going to be AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have a beautiful day!

You are not alone!

Stay in the rooms!


Symbiosis


Symbiotic relationships simply put, are those with no boundaries. Often found with parent and child, a mother who eats off the child’s plate or goes through their things snooping. There are no boundaries and the child accepts it and feels guilt for having a life, so the cycle continues. Also many symbiotic relationships can morph from romantic bond to a brother and sister relationship or a rescuer and victim relationship or the partners may mother/father each other in a parent and child type of bond. The boundaries are so skewed that the couple cannot function without each other. It comes to mind the image of  the Ouroboros, the snake who eats its own tail, a very ancient symbol which means, that which feeds you kills you.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ouroboros

However the snake is constantly recreating itself. This is a more hopeful symbol than the images we get from Symbiosis which is constant feeding on each other to survive. It seems death represents change. The death of the bond creates the freedom to re-create.

Many people in symbiotic and co-dependent relationships say that they feel trapped by needy people, but perhaps they are trapped by their own neediness. You never know what’s going on in some one’s home, inside their marriage. Symbiotic and Co-dependent relationships end when one or both partners accept responsibility for their own emotional and physical well-being. Such people are then free to create healthier relationships …perhaps with each other.

From Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places by Jed Diamond

  • Healthy love is fluid and dynamic. Addictive love fears change.
  • Healthy love is gentle and comfortable. Addictive love is combative.
  • Healthy love encourages honesty. Addictive love encourages secrets.
  • Healthy love is unique. There are no ideal lovers. Addictive love is stereotyped.
  • Healthy love creates life and joy. Addictive love creates melodrama and suffering.
  • Healthy love is accepting the partner you have. Addictive love looks for more or better.
  • Healthy love is based on your desire to be with a person. Addictive love is based on need.
  • Healthy love is making yourself happy. Addictive love seeks someone to make you happy.
  • Healthy love develops after you feel safe. Addictive love tries to create bonds to avoid fear.
Secrets kill a relationship. Lack of trust and lack of faith are total deal killers. But many will accept this type of abuse, because they feel so bad about themselves they think they deserve nothing better. The intimacy dies and the two exist in faux existence perhaps living in their past successes and emotional ties which have long past.
Maybe they don’t deserve any better. Maybe they are a couple of losers who should just live with each other in a void and suffer their Karma forever LOL. Karma’s a Bitch. In any case, there is help to be had if the partners seek spiritual or psychological help. Without help and willingness to change and let go, it is doubtful that people who are embedded in these sick relationships have to tools to be honest and change their lives without outside help.
Leap of faith.. it takes fear to be courageous
Personally I believe, Twelve step programs are really good ways to start. As much as I resist Al-Anon, it has helped me tremendously.
I have learned a lot about myself through fucking up, but taking the lesson to the next level is what is in a Fool’s bag.
Note from a Sober Driver contributor:

There are 4 types of symbiosis

Mutualism- involves two species, both benefit

Commensalism- involves two species, one benefits the other is not harmed or helped

Parasitism- involves two species, one benefits the other is harmed

Amensalism- one species is inhibited or completely obliterated and one is unaffected.

For the time being we are going to discuss these types of symbiosis as they pertain to human relationships.

We all strive towards Mutualism. We strive to coexist with others in a manner that is not only enjoyable, but beneficial to both parties and neither party is harmed. Mutualism is also frequently a life long relationship between two species and weather obligate for one species or one is obligate(by necessity), the other facultative(optional). In the relationship both species are obligate, both need each other to survive. In the obligate/facultative relationship the obligate species needs the facultative species to survive, the facultative species does not necessarily need the obligate.

Commensalsim as stated previously, is a relationship between two species where one specie benefits, and the other is not harmed or helped by its presence. The extent by which the one is helped can be extended to things like housing and transportation. This sort of symbiosis in a human relationship is comparable to having a room-mate that pays rent and may or may not clean. Their presences are neither a hindrance or a help.

We are all very familiar with parasitism, one specie is harmed one benefits. A parasite is defined by its host and lifestyle, most parasites are obligate. They can invade your intestines, your blood, your integument, your brains. The harm they can cause can be minimal to severe, based on what body system they attack, and what they are going to take. A parasite can take one blood meal from its host and leave or it can latch on and continue to take blood meals for as long as they or we live. Animals and plants alike are both plagued by parasites and we are constantly as risk of becoming hosts. None of us are able to escape this in our personal dealings with other humans. Recovery  from this sort of symbiotic relationship starts with getting rid of the parasite in question. In order not to be drained of our life or at the very least irritated, we need to acquire some antiparasitic, i.e. some perspective. It is also important to recognize when one is the host in said parasitic relationship, which because of its many variations can be difficult. The best thing is to go with your first instinct, if you feel as though you are being used for someone else’s benefit, it’s surprising how often that little voice in the back of your mind is correct. It does how ever take recognition of self-worth to get out of a relationship that is parasitic. Sadly so few people do.

The most destructive symbiotic relationship is Amensalism. The host is completely drained or inhibited by another specie. The larger stronger specie drains the smaller and weaker specie till it die. When speaking on relationships, the hosts that do not find themselves a way out of parasitic symbiosis become victims of amensalism. The host has been used to the extent that they are weak and unable to sustain its own life. 

These relationships all represent different ways in which we as humans fight for life. 

Holly Go Lightly  and the Broke Offs

Clean in Two 2008


When You’re Ready You’re Ready


The Changing Magnolia

Sadly when friends or family are having a hard time and there is nothing we can do to help, it can be so painful. I know it was hard for my friends and family to stand by and watch me when I was using. The journey is just harder for some. Letting go of what is dead and over seems to be the hardest for all of us. We keep trying to blow life into it and fluff it up and make it look good on the outside, but we really know in our guts there is no hope. Why do we insist on hanging on to what doesn’t work?

Bottom line every one has their own Higher Power. No one can fix another. We have to find our way on our own. I can see how people feel they wasted their lives and time trying to let go of an addiction, but you’re ready when you’re ready. No one can make you quit. You have to find that power of choice within yourself. Sadly, many people live with addiction, never getting their needs met their entire lives.

Listen to your gut. It will tell you the truth. We are powerful when we can finally hear our own voice and stop believing the lies we tell ourselves. Alcohol and drugs lie. They can make you believe in fairy tales. We thought we were the shit when we drank. Any addiction that gives us false power will do the trick. As humans we all participate in this delusion. No wonder no one went up in the rapture. We are all a bunch of fuck ups!! Beautifully Flawed.

Honestly, I do believe that we are all flawed, but not beyond redemption.

Take the first step without fear. There is a beautiful world waiting…

Devo

Beautiful World


Addicted to Love?


Can some one really be addicted to love? Because true love is something so rare, how can a person be addicted to it?

I think some times a person is addicted to winning or addicted to owning or controlling another person, but addicted to love?

Hmm, that just doesn’t make sense.

Can a person be addicted to their emotions?

I see how a person can be in such fear of losing another person and the fear of being alone that they cling like a cling on.

I understand that, but does love apply here?

I see how a person stays in a bad relationship out of guilt, but love is done by that time, that’s not love, so addicted to love doesn’t make sense.

Being in love doesn’t mean being a door mat…Loser..

Being in love doesn’t mean you are constantly compromised or your trust is broken over and over.

That’s not even a good friendship.

Compromising in Relationships

 http://www.baggagereclaim.co.uk/how-compromised-are-you-in-relationships-understanding-compromise-in-relationships/

Just saying…

The Cure

Friday I’m in Love

Urban Dictionary Define True Love


Life Isn’t Fair


Does Justice Prevail?

Equilibrium, fairness, harmony, symmetry, balancing, centering, readjustment, rectification and stabilizing.

Will cosmic law return a position of balance, objectivity, compromise, honesty, integrity and truth?

Uh, nope. Life is hard and fucked up and hardly ever fair, so quit whining and just move on.

NEXT?!!!

One foot in front of the other, trudge the happy road of destiny, one step at a time. However we need to do it, we just gotta do it, cause staying in the same place doing the same thing over and over expecting different results is CRAZY insane!!

Yeah, we gotta change and it sucks to change. Even though we welcome change, the process can be rough, admitting and having the courage to change. But oh, how fab to be on the other side of the work, free from the obsession, imbalance and disharmony!

Whew! Ya, a relief, but what do we have to do to get there..? Go to Therapy? Change jobs? Leave a lover? Eat healthier? Stop Drinking? Quit Drugs?  Get a divorce? Quit lying to others and ourselves? What ever it is, nothing is worse than living in situations that are just plain old stagnation and fantasy. We create great mythology to support our addictions and unhealthy behavior, but sooner or later it all catches up and after time of pretense, it just gets impossible to keep up appearances. We just aren’t cool any more. The Emperor has no clothes. Wake the fuck up!

When we can’t fool any one any more and it’s pretty obvious the gig is up, we realize, the only thing we have control of, is, ourselves.

Addiction and unhealthy living affects everything.

Solution for unfairness, ACCEPTANCE!

Make peace with it, go through it and change the situation.

A ship in port is safe, but that is not what ships are built for. Sail out to see and do new things.
Grace Hopper

Band of Skulls

Honest 2009


Are You Terminally Unique?


Are you exotic?

Are you special?

Are your problems of the nature that no one can ever understand?

When you were born did they break the mold?

Are you sure no one understands you and your specialness?

“These people are nothing like me, I never went to jail, lost my job or lived under a bridge. I have nothing in common with any one in AA.

These people are nothing like me, they’ve never been to jail, lost a job or lived under a bridge. How can they understand my unique problems? “

Terminal uniqueness has its roots in addictive thinking. It is the voice that keeps us drinking or using or addicted to whatever sure that no one understands us. It’s a voice that protects the addiction, a voice that is denial.

If you want to stop drinking and have attended AA, but feel like no one understands you, go to another 12 step meeting and if you don’t like it, go to another and another. It may not be for you, but keep an open mind and you may see that the people at meetings are a lot more like you than you thought.

We are all unique in our make up, but we are alike in addiction, if we can find the common ground.
How About Orange?

The Pretenders

Brass in Pocket 1979